Houzz Hires CFO From LinkedIn as the Startup Gears Up for an IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Houzz Inc. has hired a chief financial officer from LinkedIn Corp. as the home design and shopping services website prepares for an initial public offering.

Richard Wong, LinkedIn’s former vice president of finance, is Houzz’s first c-suite executive hire and signals the Palo Alto, California-based business’s effort to prep itself for public markets. He’d been with LinkedIn for eight years and played a role in the professional social network’s own coming-out party.

Since launching in 2010, Houzz has raised about $614 million, enough to make it unlikely to sell to a larger player in the home improvement space, two people familiar with its strategy said. Houzz was last valued at $4 billion, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the privately held company. The startup is run by husband and wife founders Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, who serve as chief executive officer and president.

Houzz declined to comment on its valuation or IPO timeline. The startup however will need capital to grow its presence in a rapidly expanding online market for home furnishings. U.S. consumers spent $355 billion in 2016 on furniture and home repairs, according to a study from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing. That same year in Europe, where Houzz recently expanded, consumers spent $420 billion, according to research group Euroconstruct.

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